“Mom, You Told Them I Did What?”

By | May 9, 2014

mothers-dayNo one knows you better than your own mother, right? Even compared to your father, she’s got the edge. Think about it: your mom got to spend roughly forty weeks with you before anyone else in the world even got to meet you. As you grew up, she maintained her status as the world’s leading expert on all things you. She knew your schedule inside and out.  She knew your allergies (and your friends’ allergies). And, she fully understood that your sandwiches should be cut into fourths, not just in half.

With Mother’s Day this Sunday, LPP wanted to examine how well our mothers know us, now that we’ve moved out and are able to cut our own sandwiches. Specifically, do our mothers really understand what it means when we tell them we work in PR? Anyone who works in PR can attest to the fact that there is a lot of misunderstanding around exactly what it means when you respond to the question “What do you do?” with “I work in PR.” It’s no surprise then that sometimes our moms might be equally confused.

To launch our investigation, we came up with five questions to ask our moms about what we do here at LPP. We emailed, called and, in some cases, texted our moms to say hi and interview them about what they think we do at work each day.

One thing was very clear after talking to our mothers; most of them have the impression that drinking coffee is a big part of our day-to-day activities at LPP. They may be right. Check out the questions below and the fun we had compiling the answers.

For those of you keeping score at home, Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Don’t forget to call your mother and let her know how grateful you are for everything she’s done for you!

 

What does Public Relations mean?

“I guess it is a way of defining a company or what the company does in the public eye/defining it for the public. Make the company look polished by making sure the right information is out there.”
-Theresa Tullis: Mom to Kirsten Tullis

“As a firm, I think your goals are to keep your client’s name in the public eye (however you define ‘public’), improve the reputation, help manage a bad situation if need be.”
-Liz Francis: Mom to Phoebe Francis

“Public relations means putting out a message in the hope that people will give back the emotion you’re trying to capture. Make you like something or dislike something – a product, person or company.”
-Debbie Armendariz: Mom to Dacyl Armendariz

“Sadly my mother is no longer with us, but I remember these conversations as if they were yesterday. You spend your time talking to the public, right? That was something you used to say to me all the time.”
-Jean Jennings: Mom to Don Jennings

 

Can you describe what you think I do on a typical day at work?

“My guess would be that you drink lots of coffee, and research via the internet what is happening in the world, or at least the part of the world that affects your clients. I also think that you try to find non-traditional ways (or create new ways) to get your clients noticed by the media.”
– Linda Byrne-Luguri: Mom to Kenna Luguri

“Chase your clients for information, massage the info so that it appears in the best light possible, then “sell” that info to the press that you’re trying to persuade to use the data”
-Liz Francis: Mom to Phoebe Francis

“I think you drink coffee, read emails, and talk to your co-workers. On a daily basis you are trying to put together your client’s messaging.”
-Debbie Armendariz: Mom to Dacyl Armendariz

“In a typical work day you shop online, eat breakfast, lunch and snack, and talk a lot to Aimee. You also do a lot of research.”
-Christine Giovannello: Mom to Sofia Giovannello

“Another one of my mom’s favorite questions. She used to say, you seem to travel a lot and spend an awful lot of time in meetings.  Or at least that’s what you always tell me when I call you.”
-Jean Jennings: Mom to Don Jennings

 

How do you describe my job to people when they ask what I do?

“Sadly my Mom is no longer with us.  Her incredible life, which stretched to age 94, ended just two years ago.  But when she was alive, she was as proud as she could be of her daughter.  But as many times as I explained it, she mostly thought I did something that had to do with the ads she saw on TV. Her support of me was what mattered and it was always 100%.”
– Lois Paul

“I always say you got your degree in Economics, but you didn’t like it so now you’re in public relations.”
-Debbie Armendariz: Mom to Dacyl Armendariz

“I say ‘he’s doing PR.’ Fortunately, nobody really asks for details.”
-Beth Griffin: Mom to Aidan Griffin

“I usually change the subject, or tell them that I don’t know. If pressed, I tell them that you develop and pitch ideas to your clients based on information you’ve gathered that you think will help them get noticed.”
– Linda Byrne-Luguri: Mom to Kenna Luguri

“And another favorite question, which was typically answered with, you work in technology.  What exactly, I’m not 100% sure.  Maybe sales related.”
-Jean Jennings: Mom to Don Jennings

 

What do you think it means to “secure” a story in a publication?

“I’m guessing it means you have a commitment from the publication to run the story.”
-Mara Dolan: Mom to Grace Ames

“Securing a story means being the first to publish the piece.”
-Christine Giovannello: Mom to Sofia Giovannello

“I would imagine to secure a story in a publication, you have a guarantee from your source at that publication that your story will in fact run.”
-Linda O’Sullivan: Mom to Kylle O’Sullivan

 

How do you think PR differs from marketing and advertising?

“I think marketing has more to do with conveying the quality of the product or service being offered, advertising is putting the product or service in the best possible light where one has to pay, and PR relates to the relationship between the desired consumer and the producer of the good or service.”
-Mara Dolan: Mom to Grace Ames

“I think PR is related more to image and feeling. It’s like branding, but broader.”
-Beth Griffin: Mom to Aidan Griffin

“Marketing and Advertising are actively trying to sell something, PR is polishing the label of something, making it look better but not necessarily try to sell it, promote it by making it look better.”
-Theresa Tullis: Mom to Kirsten Tullis

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